Wednesday, January 10, 2018

National Championship {Runners-Up}

Here in the south, college football is a big deal.  We love our home state team, the Georgia Bulldogs, and we have had so many amazing memories cheering on the Dawgs for years and years.  This season has, by far, been the best one yet though.  On Monday night our beloved Bulldogs played in the College Football National Championship game and although we suffered a heartbreaking loss in overtime, it was still as amazing experience and such a ride.

This season has been one that fans will talk about for years to come.  We only lost one regular season game to Auburn and then came back to beat them for the SEC title.  The Rose Bowl game that went into double overtime was probably the most stressful and exciting football game we have ever watched.  Then to be playing for the National title, something that hasn't been won by our team since 1980, it was the icing on the cake!  And what was even better than that was that the game was hosted in our very own city...basically in our back yard so we were so excited to take part in all of the events that were going on all weekend long.  The entire weekend reminded me of being at the Super Bowl.  From the parties to the fan experiences to just the general hype and excitement felt around the city.

The Mr. and I were invited to the ESPN party that took place on Saturday night. We got all dolled up and headed downtown.  There was delicious food, yummy drinks and lots of semi-celebrity sightings.  I didn't have the courage to go up and talk to Tim Tebow or several of The Bachelor/Bachelorette cast members, but I totally enjoyed stalking them from afar!

We also got to see the championship trophy up close and personal, which was such a treat!

On our way home Saturday night we decided to wake the kids up early the next morning to take them to the Fanfest.  We told them to get decked out in their UGA gear and we made our way downtown.  It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

They had so many interactive stations set up for both kids and adults. Everything from kicking field goals, throwing/catching footballs, running drills, face painting, taste testing and more.

We also ran into so many people we knew there including my brother and sister-in-law.  The excitement was through the roof and every Dawg fan was so pumped about the upcoming game.

Then Sunday evening as we were finishing up dinner I got a text about school being cancelled for the next day!  WHAT?!?!?  Seriously, we were totally shocked and a little upset because it really messed up our plans for getting down for the game.  There was apparently a chance of ice and freezing rain, but we all had our suspicions about what was really going on...

Thankfully, our sitter was able to come over early and we still made it downtown in plenty of time to tailgate before the big game.  Actually, the traffic all weekend long was a breeze. I believe they scared everyone off from driving downtown and urging them to take public transit or Uber, so those of us that did drive had no problem at all.

Our tailgate was thankfully indoors because at the day of the game was cold and rainy.  We were in Centennial Olympic Park, which is also where the ATT Playlist Live was happening so we got to see several performers including Darius Rucker before we made our way to the stadium.

They opened the gates to the stadium and hour and a half earlier and than originally planned and thank goodness they did because so many people would have missed half of the game.

See, there was talk that President Trump was going to be in attendance at the game and although no one really knew if he would show up, he did and the security that goes along with it was out of control.

Secret Service took over the security detail for the evening meaning longer lines, stricter screenings and a SLOW process.  We got to the stadium fairly early so we only had to wait about 30 minutes or so, but I have friends that waited almost 2 hours to get in.  And on top of all that it was cold and rainy the entire time.

Thankfully after getting inside we were excited and ready for the game...and finally warm! Our seats were not with Jen and Mr. Cute, but we texted and sent pictures and "enjoyed" the stress of the game together.

Turn out Mr. President did in fact come to the game and was on the field for the singing of the National Anthem, which was sang by one of my favorite bands, The Zach Brown Band!  That combined with the giant flag on the field gave me chills.

As the game started Georgia looked good.  Not great, but good and we went into halftime with a 13-0 lead.  We actually lead the entire rest of the game until Alabama tied it up. Then, in overtime we were just certain after we sacked their quarterback that we'd be the winners until they had a great pass at the very last second to win the game.  It was just heart wrenching to watch and it all happened so fast that Georgia fans didn't even have time to process what had happened.  On our way out of the stadium I told the Mr. that it felt just like it did leaving the Super Bowl last year after the Falcons had such a big lead and then ended up loosing.

It was a tough loss and Dawg fans all over were crushed, but still so proud of our team and the unbelievable season they had.  Now we're all excited about ready for kickoff in the fall...

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